Cymru qualifying for the World Cup, City Status, a City of Culture bid, Wrexham AFC playing at Wembley and just miss out on promotion in the first full season Rob and Ryan have taken charge as owners, Kop Development plans, that Mullin Goal, Tŷ Pawb shortlisted for Museum of The Year!
There’s been so much happening in Wrexham recently that it’s easy to forget that plans are progressing to create the Football Museum for Wales alongside a new Wrexham Museum on Regent Street in Wrexham.
Wrexham is the spiritual home of Welsh Football and our ambitious plans intend to make Wrexham a site of football fan pilgrimage! Football is part of the community and everyday life for many people so it makes sense to create a visitor experience that brings sporting heritage and community heritage together.
The museum’s staff, Haley Sharpe Design, Purcell (Architects) as well as other important project partners have been progressing the designs for Wales’s National Football museum, with work proceeding apace over the past few months.
The architects and designers have worked out plans that envisage:
- The current main gallery returned to its original use as a courtyard hub, but enclosed and providing a lift and stairs to the first floor.
- The Football Museum for Wales being centred around Court No.1 (the large courtroom)
- The Wrexham Museum focusing on Court No.2 and the eastern side of the museum building.
- A new learning and community hub on the forecourt, providing for the first time ever a flexible up to date and fully accessible learning and events space for use by schools, community groups and for holiday activities
- An enlarged temporary exhibitions gallery extending out into the former exercise yard
- A children’s zone on the ground floor
- A quieter introductory area for those who benefit from such places
- An expanded café providing additional seating in the re-purposed archives office, alongside the seating in the front extension and spreading into the forecourt
- A larger shop allowing the museum to sell football and Wales related souvenirs, especially targeted at day trippers and holiday makers.
The project team have been consulting with groups representing football supporters, historians, people involved in learning, disabled people, and a diverse range of community groups and individuals who like visiting museums. Their feedback is already informing design and content to help ensure the new museum will be the best it can possibly be.
The concept designs for the football galleries envisage visitors entering via an introductory immersive experience creating an engaging atmosphere for the story of football and the story of Wales to be told through football…
From there, they will emerge into Court No.1, the largest space in the museum. This space will divide into three broad areas:
- Loyalties & Rivalries which will focus on football in Wales at club level, from the big clubs down to grassroots level.
- Heartbreak & Glory, which will tell the story of the Welsh men’s and women’s teams and their roller-coaster fortunes over the years
- On the Terrace, which is where we focus on the fans and culture of Welsh football and include even more interactivity for younger visitors.
There is a lot more work to go into these designs, involving not just the museum staff and the consultation panels we have established, but people right across Wales, not least through the work of the Engagement Officers who will be recruited over the summer to act as roving ambassadors for the football museum.
As in the football galleries, visitors will initially enter the Wrexham Museum galleries through an introductory immersive zone that will highlight the kaleidoscopic story of Wrexham.
The Wrexham Museum galleries will be based around five themes connected to the people and places of the county borough:
- Beginnings – here the focus is on archaeology, with a re-display of Brymbo Man, the Bronze Age and Roman material
- Trade & Industry – this room will focus on our industrial and agricultural heritage, the development of the market town of Wrexham and the world of work in Wrexham.
- Conflict & Struggle – this theme is about both industrial struggle and setbacks, and also the World Wars and their impact on Wrexham and its people.
- Daily Life – this section is dedicated to topics such as changes in the home, the stages of life, health and medicine, and leisure and free time
- Communities – the final theme gallery will tell the stories of the many different groups that make up Wrexham, including the Penley Poles, Portuguese, the Wrexham diaspora, and cultural festivals.
Lead Member for museums, Cllr Paul Roberts said: “Overall much has been achieved, but there is so much more to do to ensure that we, with the help and support of people and communities from Wrexham and across Wales, working together, can create a Football Museum for Wales and a new Wrexham Museum fit for the spiritual home of Welsh football and Wales’s newest city.”
Chair of the Football Museum Steering Group Ian Bancroft said: “It really is an exciting time for football in Wales and Wrexham, the spiritual home of Welsh football. “Football plays a huge part in our identity, culture and heritage.”It’s great to see plans for the Wrexham Museum and Welsh football museum developing as we look forward to the delivery of this exciting project in 2025.”